Unscheduled Post: Faster than the speed of wind


Terence Tao has a beautiful analysis of sailing, in particular:

One of the more unintuitive facts about sailing is that it is possible to harness the power of the wind to sail in a direction against that of the wind or to sail with a speed faster than the wind itself, even when the water itself is calm.

Using his model he shows that:

…one could in principle reach arbitrarily large speeds and directions…I do not know however if one could actually implement such a strategy with a physical sailing vessel.

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